It appears that Tameem Antoniades has left Ninja Theory. One of the creative leads behind the original Hellblade is no longer with the studio he co-founded more than 20 years ago.

Ninja Theory co-founder Tameem Antoniades left studio after over 20 years, Xbox confirms

Tameem Antoniades (Image credit: BAFTA Guru)

According to Polygon’s preview of Hellblade II, senior editor Oli Welsh didn’t notice any sign of Antoniades during his visit at Ninja Theory’s office in Cambridge. The studio’s founder wasn’t even mentioned during the event.

An Xbox spokesperson later confirmed to Polygon that Antoniades is “no longer with the studio.” It is unclear when exactly he left the team or what were the reasons behind his decision, but the developer was only involved in the production of Hellblade II in the early stages.

The game currently has three creative leads:

  • Art director Dan Attwell — worked on all of the studio’s titles since Heavenly Sword;
  • VFX director Mark Slater-Tunstill — with the studio since 2012, previously worked at Headstrong Games and Asylum Entertainment;
  • Audio director David García Díaz — with the studio since 2015, also worked at TequilaWorks on games like RiME and Deadlight.

Early in his career, Antoniades worked as a programmer and game designer at SCE Studio Cambridge on titles like Beast Wars: Transformers and Dig Dug Deeper. In 2000, he co-founded Ninja Theory, originally called Just Add Monsters, together with development director Nina Kristensen, and technology director Mike Ball.

Antoniades was involved in every title developed by the studio, starting with 2003’s Kung Fu Chaos for the first Xbox console. He also served as creative director on Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and writer/director on Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.

In 2018, Ninja Theory was acquired by Microsoft for, as revealed in last year’s FTC filings, $117 million. Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II will be the studio’s second game released as part of Xbox Game Studios, following the now-discontinued MOBA shooter Bleeding Edge.

Hellblade II, expected to come out on May 21 for Xbox Series X|S and PC, will be Microsoft’s first major new release of 2024. It will cost $50 and have no physical edition.

Got a story you'd like to share? Reach us at [email protected]